A woman who has spent the last year shielding after battling skin cancer was rewarded with her first day out in 14 months – after winning a pig-naming competition at a college in Rochdale.
A popular college for animal management students, Hopwood Hall College and University Centre in St Mary’s Gate has an on-site farm with over 600 different animals including horses and pigs.
When one of the pigs recently gave birth to seven piglets, the college decided to hold a naming competition for the runt of the litter.
Pauline Elliott, 55, from Middleton, was chosen over hundreds of other suggestions to be given the honour of naming the piglet ‘Tiny’.
As part of giving the little pig his name, Pauline was also given a VIP tour of the college’s farm with daughter Holly and niece Candice.
Having recently battled skin cancer, Pauline has been required to shield since the start of the lockdown in March 2020.
The visit to Hopwood’s animal park marked her first proper day out in over a year.
“I’ve lived like a recluse for the past year so this really was such a lovely prize,” Pauline said.
“I didn’t expect there to be so many endangered animals and the staff were so knowledgeable about every single of them.
“It was an amazing experience. I’ve been telling everyone about it!”
Pauline added she ‘couldn’t wait’ to tell her four-year-old twin grandchildren, Harry and Hazel, about meeting Tiny the piglet.
She recently saw the twin siblings for the first time since December 2019.
A number of rare and exotic animals are housed at the college including birds, reptiles, bats and dogs.
The college farm is also home to meerkats, wallabies, armadillos and potoroos – a type of marsupial – which are all tended to by students on animal management and veterinary nursing courses.
“It was an absolute pleasure to invite Pauline and her family to campus so that they could meet the newly-named Tiny and all the other wonderful animals,” Julia Heap, Principal and CEO of Hopwood Hall College and University Centre, said.
“We now know it’s been a very difficult few years for Pauline, so we are delighted that we were able to put a smile on her face.
“In future we look forward to offering other members of the community the same opportunity to experience these hidden treasures that are right on their doorstep!”